Virginia thwarts Bloomberg-backed anti-gun ‘executive order’

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s Bloomberg-supported “executive order” overturned. Governor McAuliffe signs new concealed-carry reciprocity arrangement.

Official flag of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia's state motto, "Sic semper tyrannis," is clearly noted. (Public domain image)

WASHINGTON, February 28, 2016 – The latest underhanded attempt by Michael Bloomberg and his allies to impose strict gun-control measures in states where they’re not wanted has backfired. On Friday, February 26, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat and a well-known, wealthy Clinton bundler, signed into law special legislation that clearly restores the Commonwealth’s longstanding concealed-carry reciprocity agreements with 25 states.

This endorsement of Virginians’ Second Amendment rights marks the conclusion to a controversy that arose just a few days before Christmas, 2015. Obviously hoping to take advantage of holiday-dominated news coverage, Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring (D) took a page out of President Obama’s executive order playbook last December 22 by unilaterally cancelling the Commonwealth’s concealed-carry reciprocity with the previously cited states.

Supported by Bloomberg’s highly partisan and cynically-named Everytown for Gun Safety organization, Herring’s surprise move caught Second Amendment supporters almost completely off guard, and also succeeded in angering several of the states that found their reciprocity agreements with Virginia severed without warning. A number of the affected states, notably Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wyoming, instantly retaliated, declaring that they, in turn, would refuse to honor Virginia’s concealed carry licenses.

Herring’s high-handed and likely unconstitutional move also launched the Fairfax, Virginia-based National Rifle Association (NRA) to ignite a counter-campaign, urging Virginia’s currently Republican-controlled legislature to fast-track draft legislation to overrule Herring’s executive branch overreach.

Pressure was also brought to bear on Virginia’s governor, also known to support radical gun control measures in his state—one whose citizens have long been known as stalwart proponents of Second Amendment rights.

Given the importance of his currently purple state to Democrats’ 2016 presidential plans, McAuliffe clearly preferred to avoid a prolonged Second Amendment controversy at this point, signing into law Friday H.B. 1163 and S.B. 610. Together, these bills clearly restore and promote concealed carry reciprocity agreements for the Commonwealth’s permit holders. States that retaliated against Herring’s unilateral move are likely to quickly restore the former intrastate status quo.

Bloomberg-funded attack ad on Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. (PDF of actual ad)
Bloomberg-funded attack ad on Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. (PDF of actual ad)

McAuliffe’s acceptance and signing of legislation reversing Herring’s controversial order did not go down well with Bloomberg’s anti-gun fanatics at Everytown, which, like all left-wing groups, immediately retaliated with a counter-campaign based on false and misleading information according to

“Bloomberg-funded Everytown came unglued. They launched a social media campaign against McAuliffe and took out a full-page ad against him, highlighting what they claim are numerous false statements he made about the trustworthiness of concealed permit holders and other gun-related issues.”

On the other hand, the NRA and its members couldn’t have been more pleased with McAuliffe’s action, as the organization clearly indicated in an online flyer:

“‘Now, more than six million law-abiding gun owners will be free to travel in and out of Virginia with their Second Amendment rights intact,’ said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. ‘Self-defense is a fundamental right that must be respected…’

“‘Concealed carry permit holders are among the safest groups of citizens in Virginia and throughout the country. On behalf of the NRA’s more than five million members, we commend this effort to protect public safety and fundamental freedoms. Hopefully this effort will encourage Congress to pass national right to carry reciprocity legislation as soon as possible,’ concluded Cox.”

In addition to restoring Virginia’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements with 25 other states, the legislation signed Friday also requires Virginia State Police to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states where needed.

Friday’s decisive move by Governor McAuliffe and the Virginia legislature serve to underscore Virginia’s state motto, “Sic semper tyrannis.” Roughly translated as “Thus always to tyrants,” — or, perhaps better, “This is what happens to tyrants,” — the motto appears on both the Virginia flag and state seal beneath the image of a female warrior standing victorious over the lifeless body of a clearly former king.

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